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Green Energy / Portable Battery Charger
Last post by MungamaineBoy - May 25, 2024, 09:09 PM

One of the problems with living on a rural block is flat batteries in machinery and vehicles. Running power leads for battery chargers is usually a problem and jump starting a flat battery will damage it.

I have built a portable solar charger out of bits I had laying around as per the photos.

I used an old twin pram, an old house 190 watt solar panel, some batten strap offcuts, a charge controller, a set of jumper leads and a small section of copper pipe for the switch. The copper switch is used as the battery has to be connected before the solar panel.

It took about an hour to make and works great. When I want to limit the current for trickle charging, I put a towel over part of the panel.

As old twin prams are hard to find, I built another unit using 2 single prams tied together.

Green Energy / Testamonial
Last post by MungamaineBoy - May 25, 2024, 08:55 PM
I want give some feedback on the TechLuck Solar Hot Water Booster that I
installed. It has been running for 9 years without any problems.

I was given a working Rheem Ecoboost that had been replaced by a gas
unit by a city based friend.

A week after going to the trouble of getting it installed, the control
board failed. Because I live in a remote area, Rheem did not want to
know about me.
I had been running it on the booster element as a normal water heater
with the resulting humungous power bill.

I received the Solar Hot Water Booster and developed a
I obtained 4 of secondhand 200watt panels rated at 24volts working,
30volts open circuit.

I scrounged a couple of old pool salt water chlorinators of varying
types. The pool shops have plenty of dead ones at the moment.
 From these I obtained...
An outdoor rated box with an aluminum plate across the back to use as a
heat sink.
Analogue Ampmeter. (Each division is actually 1.5 amps)
5 foot of heavy duty cable ( just the same length as is specified to
connect to the water heater).
Assorted useful bits and pieces.

I mounted the SHWB into a suitable chlorinator control box. I mounted an
Analogue Ampmeter where the digital display had been. To test that it
worked, I connected a 24v variable bench power supply to emulate a solar
panel and a bar heater to emulate a water heater. It looked good even
though the amps were very low.

I mounted the panels flat onto the roof.
I mounted the modified chlorinator box onto the side of the water heater.
I adjusted the thermostat up to 60C.
I connected it all up.

By 9am there was 91 volts across the element and 5amps flowing into it.
That is 455 watts even though there was a bit of cloud cover.

Green Energy / The New TechLuck Forum (some i...
Last post by electron - Mar 29, 2024, 01:38 AM
Hi, thanks for dropping by !

I went back to 2011 and some of those old posts have been entered. If you have any favorite old posts let me know via the "comment" page and I will try to get them up ASAP.

You may have to re-create your log in, those didn't get transferred, sorry.
Green Energy / Sodium-Ion Battery Info and Li...
Last post by electron - Mar 29, 2024, 01:11 AM
Notes and links to get you started, use search to find the latest info, things are moving fast!

5/1/23 China's sodium-ion batteries to replace lithium batteries in EVs

4/22/23 The Sodium-Ion Battery Is Coming To Production Cars This Year
(has inside cell diagram - maybe)
"CATL said its sodium-ion batteries will be installed in the Chery iCAR due to go on sale by the end of this year" "BYD sources say its sodium-ion battery will also be in mass production in the second half of the year beginning with the Seagull" (Light-Duty Vehicles)

1/7/23 New sodium, aluminum battery aims to integrate renewables for grid resiliency

7/30/21 CATL Reveals Sodium-Ion Battery With 160 Wh/kg Energy Density
(LFP battery cells are about 200 Wh/kg)

Stationary Storage: ( solar and wind )

USA Company, CA  Introducing BlueTray 4000
"Natron's BlueTray 4000 in a standard 1U 19-inch rackmount configuration delivers 4kW at 48V DC over a 2-minute discharge with a 6kW peak power rating, recharges in 8-minutes, and can cycle >50,000 times. Based on Natron's core Prussian Blue battery technology, the Bluetray is UL listed and available for purchase. For complete product specifications see our brochure and specification sheet."

5/10/23 How Sodium-Ion Batteries May Challenge Lithium (covers most things)

50,000 = 137 years ! (full cycle once a day)

-29C (-4F) to 40C (104F)  Operating but survives to 50C (122F) see specs

Another Sodium Battery company just announced.

Anton/Bauer�s New Mobile Battery is First to Replace Lithium with Sodium


4,500 cycles is 12 years, I am sure they will be updating that spec, the Natron battery is way better.

Also the charge times are probably limited by the internal built in charger, I would think they will be updating that too.
Good Sodium Battery article "more than 10 companies announcing commercialization plans by 2024/25"


Scroll down for "Table 1 presents an overview of the major companies involved in Sodium-ion battery commercialization.", with Cell Performance and some dates.

Aug. 9, 2023� � Biwatt Launches Sodium-ion Battery Solution at WBE 2023� Empowering The Sodium-ion Industry, Co-building The Sodium-ion Ecosystem

Remember to look at Sodium Ion Battery info dated after 2023.
8/15/2023 "CATL M3P Battery is Sodium Ion Chemistry"

"CATL M3P battery is sodium-ion and not LMFP (manganese). This was in the CATL July 2023 Semi-annual report."More info and tests of high and low temperature and real vehicle tests, and superior fast charge and discharge performance.

08/31/2023 BIWATT has launched a full range of sodium-ion battery solutions for two-wheelers and low-speed EV, including three major platforms: 48V, 60V and 72V.

"One of the key factors contributing to the rise of SIBs is their remarkable high and low-temperature performance, making them suitable for a wide range of applications across various climates and environments."
YouTube videos on the subject
October 2023

August - September 2023
(do a search, sort by date)
Oct 4 2023
"Weight, and therefore energy density, is much less important in a stationary storage system. The fact that these batteries are less energy dense isn't really a big consideration for this application"

"A much more important consideration is the cost per unit energy that you're able to store and that is where sodium ion, we believe, will have a big advantage over lithium ion in the future"

(the temperature range should be mentioned since most of these installations are placed outside)

October 5, 2023 (about stationary battery storage, solar. wind)
"With a clear opportunity to ensure affordable energy, Peak Energy is moving fast to industrialize sodium-ion technology with a goal of lowering energy storage costs by up to 50%."
Operational temperature range is also a plus for sodium-ion. Think about the energy spent heating and cooling a large outdoor battery installation.
October 30, 2023  Study finds Tiamat Na-ion battery well-suited for high-power energy storage applications

"recent cell generations show improved cycle stability; the latest version cell achieves a cycle life of 3200 cycles at 2C charge and 5C discharge."

"The RS2E/Tiamat chemistry is based on a fluorophosphate Na3V2(PO4)2F3 (NVPF) cathode and hard carbon (HC) anode. Tiamat has introduced high-power cells in both cylindrical and prismatic cell formats. "

Specs so far seem to be Charge to 3.95V and power starts to flow at about 3.7V all the way down to 1.5V "cut off".
November 21, 2023 Northvolt (Sweden) sodium-ion battery validated at 160 Wh/kg

"It is based on a hard carbon anode and a Prussian White-based cathode�a variant of the inorganic colourant Berlin Blue"

Sodium-ion technology delivers the performance required to enable energy storage with longer duration than alternative battery chemistries, at a lower cost, thereby opening new pathways to deploying renewable power generation
2024 good news ! (January)

"two compact EVs" ... "electric car brand Yiwei" ... "brand Sehol from JAC and Volkswagen Anhui" ... "Jiangling Motors Electric Vehicle (JMEV), which is majority-owned by Renault"� ... "the sodium-ion batteries for Yiwei are sourced from Hina Battery" ... "Farasis Energy" ... "charging time of 3C to 4C charging (10% � 80% in 20 minutes). This allowed for a total range rating of 252 km for the E10X" (note: for EV's charging time is important and it helps fund the manufacturers of cells even though for Solar Stationary Energy Storage that's not a concern)

"one of the few companies in the world that have core patents and technologies for Na-ion batteries" ... "HiNa focuses on low-cost, long-life, high-safety and high-energy density Na-ion battery products"

Green Energy / Could You Run Your Well On Sol...
Last post by electron - Mar 29, 2024, 01:05 AM
Can you compress maybe 20 PSI with a continuous air compressor for maybe 5 hours at less than 100W ?

MATH: 5 hrs on solar at say only 0.5 GPM = 150 Gallons EVERY DAY !

Do you actually use that much water ?

This guy goes 380 feet and pumps up some dirt from the bottom, then pulls it up maybe 10 feet and it runs clean. See his other videos.

ALL EQUIPMENT IS UP TOP so you can fix it.

Why are you paying $10,000+ every 15 years to pull your pump up to fix it?

Search for Air Lift and find more.

Continuous air compressors are used for PONDS, so what are you waiting for? Do you like throwing away money? Plastic pipe doesn't rust !

And the less deep you go in the water, the less PSI you need.

Please watch a lot of the videos before you go poo-pooing this, people have been doing this since the 50's so get a clue.
Green Energy / Automatic Transfer Switch with...
Last post by electron - Mar 29, 2024, 12:49 AM
The idea is to have your solar power system and inverter power your loads during the day, and a little into the night, then you switch over to the grid until morning.

You can keep your batteries a little more charged for emergencies this way, depending on how you set the timer.

You set the timer by trial and error for a typical day. You would also have to watch it manually on cloudy days, or just let it switch by default back to the grid when the inverter cuts out at low battery.

In this case the inverter cuts off at about 20V, and STAYS OFF. It's that type of inverter. If it were to come back on, you might get a on/off cycling and would want to add some sort of delay circuit to prevent that. You also want most of your stuff on a UPS if it can't handle the "brownout" during switchover. And the inverter should be a sinewave type if possible.

This circuit could be scaled up and down depending on your loads and the size of your Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS, which is really just a big 120V relay in a box).

The small relay could be one of these 120V DPDT for $1.75 :

The small relay will bypass the timer if the grid power goes out at night and put you on inverter power. As long as the inverter is running of course. The relay is always energized if the grid power is up.

It only powers the coil on the ATS, and so does the timer so those contacts will not get much loading and should last a long time.

I would use heat shrink tubing on connections to that relay.

That relay above could also work as the ATS relay for a small system where your loads won't exceed about 1000W since the contacts are rated at 12A. You really don't want to push it beyond that.

The timer should be one of those digital wall switch type timers for AC that uses a battery to do everything. You can do your own search for "Honeywell Econo Switch 7 Day Programmable Timer Switch for Lights and Motors" "Model # RPLS730B1000/U" and find something like it.

CAUTION: This is a high voltage AC circuit, never work on it with the power applied. This is for example purposes only, you are responsible for any damage this may cause your system so check this circuit yourself and do your own homework.

Timer ON + Inverter ON� = SOLAR
Timer OFF + Inverter ON = GRID (late night)
Timer OFF + Grid OFF + Inverter ON� �= SOLAR (power outage)
Grid ON + Inverter OFF� �= GRID
Grid OFF + Inverter OFF� = SCREWED (flashlights on)
Green Energy / Using a LED flashlight instead...
Last post by electron - Mar 29, 2024, 12:41 AM
Sometimes the dollar store has little 9 bulb LED flashlights that use 3 AAA batteries. They also sell packs of 8 "heavy duty" AAA batteries that would be good in storage for a couple of years.
No need to buy expensive batteries, these flashlights will work for a week on the heavy duty batteries with lots of use and a month or more with light use.

Instead of using big LED lights with your main batteries, you may want to save that power for something else and use the little flashlights only for spot purposes when you need a bright light.

You could buy a small low wattage 12V LED light to provide a dim night light from your main batteries so you aren't bumping into walls, but then use the flashlights for the rest.

The dollar store sometimes sells USB LED book reading lamps which have 5 LEDs in them and a flexible goose neck. They run off of a 5V USB port but can run with a little more voltage no problem, so you can connect two of them in series for 12V !

You could point them at the ceiling and let the light reflect off it to light the whole room for a very small amount of power.

That would be straining the limits of practicality IMO. Saving is always good, but one also needs to draw the line somewhere. That would be straining the limits of practicality IMO. Saving is always good, but one also needs to draw the line somewhere.

Yea, that would probably be more for a power outage or survival situation.

Its depends on your ELectricity method ....It menas what kind of electricity do you used .

Green Energy / Little Wireless Battery Capaci...
Last post by electron - Mar 29, 2024, 12:30 AM
Two types tested:

The first meter I tested did not read amps both ways. It would only read when discharging. Volts and Amps were within reason. The shunt gets really hot at 80 amps. See ah-meter1.jpg PIC below.

The second one I tested does not read accurate amps. This is compared to measurements by a very nice and older Empro 100A 100 mV shut I used in series with this. The amps were off by more than 10A and would be worse when in discharge. Volts were within reason. It would show (-) negative amps on the display when charging! (yes, it would say "CHG") They got that totally backwards. The Amp Hours counter would sometimes count up when it should count down. The Watt Hour reading always incremented upwards, don't know how that would be useful. The display is nice but the little battery (battery capacity full/empty bars thing) reading was never right even after a week. The shunt gets really hot at only 80 amps. See ah-meter2.jpg PIC below.

Meter #1 details:
DC 0-120V 0-100A Volt Amp Ah Power Capacity Percent Battery Monitor Watt Meter $25.54
The shunt for this seems to be a 100A 75 mV type Seller:

Meter #2 details:    Model VAC-1200A
DC 120V 200A Wireless Volt Ammeter Power Meter battery Charge discharge capacity $22.88
The shunt for this seems to be a 200A 50 mV type Seller:

If the Ebay item number isn't valid here then search for the title.

Other titles: Wireless Digital DC Voltmeter Ammeter Power Meter Capacity Shunt Voltage Current Ah Capacity Meter Charge Discharge AGM LEAD ACID LiFePO4 Li-Ion Watt Meter Monitor Solar Battery Two-Way Multifunction Combo

Hi...i am a new user here. I have 2X220 Ah batteries. When they are fully charged the meter says 440 amp (Ah) or in percent it shows 100%. This functionality is very nice, but not necessary in this case. The meter in my boat is probably calibrated from the size of the batteries or something, I thought it was impossible to just measure how many Ah is left in a battery of any size, but maybe I'm wrong.   I just wonder if someone could push me in the right direction for a good way to see if the battery is charging, and even better, how much its charging/discharging. Could this be done with a normal ampermeter? Will that show how much is going out of the battery or how much is coming in from the charger?

Something like a battery monitor that uses a shunt would probably work. Go look on places like Ebay.
Green Energy / Easy to build, low cost, adjus...
Last post by electron - Mar 29, 2024, 12:24 AM
I have two short videos showing the concept I used.

You can use this concept to build mounts that work against an existing fence or stand alone.

Parts are available at local hardware stores.

The conduit in the videos are 1 1/4". It seems to be OK and doesn't flex badly with 4 panels on it.

Since it's on dirt here, on the stand alone mounts, I didn't put anything except dirt to keep the bottom conduits from spreading apart, if you are going to move them a lot then you have to think about that and possibly add a superstrut bottom or something.

I used all conduit on my first stand alone one and used hose clamps for all the cross connections of conduit (I'm talking about the ones that aren't mounted to the fence). It works pretty good but adjusting it up and down is a little harder than doing it with the superstrut, so for a little $$ more you can have a nicer setup.

On the conduit, 1 3/4" or 1 1/4" will do, top and bottom across (remember I use strapping to hold the panels to the conduit) and superstrut for the winter/summer adjusters. If you have two people it will be easier to adjust, I had to go side to side and re-tighten each one as I went to keep from dropping the panels all at once. Much easier in winter to bring them up.

You also have to tie the wires up because they hang down towards the ground in summer position. Too far down and the rabbits will nibble on them! They might anyway, you may want to put up some chicken wire around the bottom to keep them out, just during the summer. I'm sure it wouldn't need much to hold it there so you don't have to make it permanent.

When they are down like this you need a longer squeegee  handle to clean them!

Be aware that during the mid summer months you will lose about 1 to 1 1/2 hours of morning and afternoon sun (which is low output time anyway) with the fence mount concept because the fence will shade the panels from behind.

In my case this was a convenient place to put them and the afternoons were also shaded in winter anyway so the loss was minimal.
Green Energy / Can You Combine 24V and 12V Wi...
Last post by electron - Mar 29, 2024, 12:20 AM
Hi, I recently was able to acquire a new Windmax 1000w 24V turbine at a descent price.  I was oringally looking at setting up two Windmax 400w 12V turbines, but now I have the 1000w, can I still add the two 400w.  I'm thinking about putting the 1000 in the middle and a 400's on either side? I'm looking at the 400's because they are supposed to start in lower wind speeds compared to the 1000w, but seeing I got the 1000 at a descent price, I thought it would not hurt to stick it up in the air, but now wondering if I would have to buy components for both the voltages? Thanks in advance. LimeyEach wind turbine really needs it's own controller of some type. Wind turbines need to have a dump load for when your batteries are fully charged. The excess power needs to go somewhere and the load keeps the turbine from over speed.

If you can use a grid tie inverter, they make special wind rated inverters that have two extra terminals to connect a dump load.

In any case, I don't see a problem with one 400W turbine and it's controller connected to one battery of a 24V set that is two 12V batteries in series. As long as you understand one of them will have a "floating" ground.

If both 400W turbines get about the same wind, you will probably get a pretty even charge. But you will want to do a "equalizing" charge once and a while and keep an eye on the voltages of each battery just to make sure.

You will get better performance at 24V on your system (even solar) so if you can, I would stick with that.

If you can buy the smaller turbines you want in a 24V model, that would probably save you the hassle of watching your system all the time.

Most 12V turbines will put out 24V if they are not regulated, they just spin faster, which might not be good for your blades and would probably exceed what they are designed to do but it is possible.